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Game designer goes undercover to sell XCOM: Enemy Unknown

tech reviews Updated: Oct 05, 2012 15:58 IST
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The latest reel for XCOM: Enemy Unknown has game designer Jake Solomon stepping into video game store land to act as shop floor salesman for his own project. Best of all, he manages to keep a straight face throughout. Nearly.

Jake earned his stripes working on Civilization III and IV for the PC, as well as the strategy game's console counterpart, Civilization Revolution.

That's put him in a good position to lead design efforts on XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

As well as paying homage to the almost 20-year-old strategy classic UFO: Enemy Unknown, October's XCOM: Enemy Unknown has the task of reintroducing a genre to console owners largely starved of quality strategy titles.

Hence Jake's game store mission. "It's a combat game, and on top of that there's a strategy game. On top of that there's another combat game," he explains, with the confidence of a man who knows that playing it for laughs is probably his best option. "Its like chess, with big guns, against aliens."

When it does arrive on Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 on October 9 (from October 12 outside North America), it will be joining a console crew that includes well respected titles such as Advance Wars, Age of Empires: Age of Kings, even Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth, Halo Wars, and Red Alert 3.

And as well as persuading console owners to try something new, XCOM: Enemy Unknown has the job of convincing the series's traditional PC fanbase that the game will be just as good as its heritage deserves.